Monday, September 30, 2013

Lesson for Linda and Legacy

Today Legacy and I started Classical Dressage lessons.  It has been a bit of a tough summer for a couple reasons....Legacy had a minor, farrier caused , injury that took her out of action for a couple months....I have slowly been bringing her back to training status.  As I worked her though, I would not help wonder if what I did was helping her body develop correctly  or encouraging the wrong things, thus harming her body.  Certainly I did not want to build muscle in the wrong place, and make bad habits to have to overcome later on.
I have searched for a trainer to work under for a couple years. Our area does  not even got all that many good dressage trainers,  much less a driven dressage trainer.  I was busy cleaning out a cupboard and found the name of a  dressage trainer that a friend of mine used before she moved out of the, taking a leap of faith...I called this gal ....and.....after a bit of discussion about my goals, some insurance questions and a discussion on time, timing and other parts of related was my first Classical Dressage lesson !!!!  I am so excited.....excited to know that when I work Legacy I will be improving her body, not doing it damage. I will be back to ground work for awhile. this will help get Legacy back into physical shape to do the work at hand.   My instructor also worked with Legacy and did stretches and body work....I can not believe I have the answer to my needs in one instructor!  and...her name is sweet it that!!! "Linda" had so many positive things to say about Legacy. Legacy does use her hind end very well,  very active and engaging.....she can step way up under herself a certain bonus for dressage work. A little shy at first, Legacy was totally comfortable with Linda by the end of our lesson...I can hardly wait until next week!  I will update our progress as we go.

Foster George is out...

Unfortunately I have some bad news about our foster George.
At the end of July he had a huge abscess blown out and he was very lame for a couple of days. We treated it and we got the infection under control. However he developed a big crack at the corony band and it went from bad to worse. In the end the corner of the hoof and sole came off and it looked horrible. I kinda freaked out.
I had a lot of discussions about it with Curly Horse Rescue since he is not my horse. CHR decided I had to put him down.
But George was doing so well and not lame so I disagreed and contacted a specialist in Lexington KY.
The Dr. assured me he would be ok but it would take at least a year. So after debating back and forward with CHR we agreed I take over George and his vet/farrier care from here.
We kept treading him the best we can and so far he is doing very well. He is in a special boot but the new hoof is growing back so the boot is not fitting good anymore.
Yesterday a farrier recommended by vet came to look at him. he took pictures and measured every angle of his foot and right now he is making a custom shoe for him. Wednesday he will have it ready.
I will be on my way to TX to the ABCR convention but my husband will be there to get George ready.

So we have a long road ahead but so far so good. but no training for awhile for him.

I made a video but is is from last week.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Trip to Lake Superior's Mission Hill Look out

by Denise Conroy, Michigan

Janeen had to leave town and asked...I mean "told"  me I had to blog this ride. lol I tried to convince Laura Kibler to do it because you all haven't heard from her yet, but she gave some lame excuse about not remembering how to log in. ha ha.Actually I don't mind, I just think it's fun to hear some one else's perception of the ride besides me. =]

This particular ride I have wanted to do for many years, but seemed every time a ride was planned I was unable to go. THIS day was the day!

It's about 90 min or so from our house to the trail head..and about a 4 hour ride. With lunch packed, and water for my dog Rocky - we were all set to go. Laura had the furtherest drive..which was about 2 1/2 hours. And Janeen was closest..only 20 min or so. I picked up a friend, Karen Bennett on my way...who has a sweet, quiet QH, Paco. The rest of us of course own curlies..and that's pretty cool.

It had to be the BEST day of the season. Slight Breeze, about 70 deg., and beautiful blue skies.

Left to Right: Janeen & Corky, Denise & Bear, Laura & Billy and Karen & Paco...
and of course Rocky.=]

Janeen and Laura...ready to head out!

All I asked for was a colorful group photo. Lol

Laura and Billy..wandering off the path..

Denise and Janeen with "Jazzy" hands...we didn't fill Laura in I guess. =]

Janeen and her sweet boy, Corky.

Denise & this gentle boy!

Laura and Billy, quite the team!

At the top...Mission Hill..overlooking Lake Superior

Another view with Laura and Billy

We took a break for a little lunch...equine, canine and human alike!

Pink Ribbon Ride!!!!

We did it!!!! And, we freakin' nailed it too!!! Beautiful weather, an amazing turnout with 154 riders and gorgeous trails!! Linus looked confused with seeing me before the sun with tack and all! Bernie pulled in right on time and I was pleased with how easy Linus loaded. It was not a perfect walk-on but for a different trailer with a horse already in it, he did just fine!!
Allie handled the separation well and was happily grazing out front when we returned. We panicked when we pulled in and the corral was taken apart but it wasn't because she ran through it!! We reset all the gates a leveled it all off!! 
So, we arrived at the Ride after about a 45 minute trailer ride. The horses unloaded easy and Linus took a good look around. He was a bit excited to see all of the other horses and trailers. Bernie knocked some brush down and we tied to the trees and set up the hay nets. The boys settled right in!

The quality of the above picture isn't the best because I took a picture of a picture : )
The company doing these totally donated their time, effort and everything else involved. 100% of the photo sales went to the fundraiser. 

All participants received a ribbon!

Here's the boys just settling in.

Let the "pinking" begin!! 
My husband said "Poor horse, you take away his balls and then dress him in pink; he's probably so confused" Ha ha, thanks honey!

The boys were so good for us and stood nice and quiet while we worked away.

Linus' mane is too short to do much with it but I put horse glitter gel in it. We had pink bows all around our breast plate and through his tail.

Bernie braided Lucas' mane and wove the boa into it! He's such a good boy!

Our two pink boys, ready to go!

Not long after we started, we wondered why there were horses coming towards us!! Guess who it turned out to be? Fellow RACer Cyndi with Sunny! It was so funny, it clicked for us at the same moment that we were keeping an eye out for one another. The people around us on the trail were good enough to wait patiently for Bernie to take our pictures. Cyndi was on her way to register so we carried on but caught up after the ride to visit. It was a joy to meet you Cyndi. You're a lovely and fun person and it would be awesome to meet you again for a ride sometime! Sunny was stellar! He takes everything in stride and wasn't bothered one bit by any of the hoo-ha!

Nice to meet you!

And our horses had to meet as well! I was impressed that Linus showed no aggressive behavior at all towards any other horses. He wanted to be friends with everyone!

I love this shot of Bernie and Lucas!! I think there is actually a better one zoomed in a bit more but you get the idea. They make a fantastic team.

The fall colours were beautiful and the trails were unbelievable

Lucas is showy and likes to arch his neck! He bends his nose almost to his knees and prances too!

We had beautiful scenery and no bugs!

The prize table! We rode by the balloons without a fuss

After the ride and SO happy!!

Putting the ribbons on was actually pretty tricky! My hands were covered in pink glitter!! I forgot to bring baby wipes. I tried the Cowboy Magic - didn't work....but fly spray did!

Big hugs for my big boy!

I cannot believe this happened today! It was such a thrill and something that was a distant dream from when I bought Linus. I choked up a few times because this meant so much to me. It was so fantastic to see so many horses and riders all there pinking it up and having a good time! It was amazing! Everyone got along, there were no accidents and no big problems. We ended up helping a woman on a nervous Appy quite a bit. He was spooky and she got off twice. Bernie dismounted while I held her horse to help the woman get back on. Then their horses really took to ours so the Appy stayed parked right behind Lucas for most of the ride to keep calm. There was a shooting range nearby and he really didn't like that. I was proud of our 2 guys for totally ignoring the shots and being the "big brothers". At one point a group came up pretty quick and it was near the beginning of the ride. Bernie was behind me and asked them to slow down to pass. I thanked them and explained it was Linus' first time out like this. A woman on a paint was having a hard time controlling her horse and said "Mine too, but yours is behaving!" It was a quick compliment and I was proud of Linus for being so calm as she battled off. I did not battle with Linus, we did most of the ride on a loose rein. Not all of it because I had to hold him back from rushing the horses in front of us at times!
I was able to talk to a few different riders and they all asked what Linus was so I got to explain about the Curlies! YAY! Someone asked us what barn we ride and train with.....we answered...umm, our farms. We usually just ride around home or with the cows! Not the answer they expected but what do you expect from a couple of laid back farm gals?! There were a lot of big barns there with riders, but for the most part they were all very nice. It was a wonderful day!
We had a BBQ lunch after the ride and then trailered back home. I turned Linus out and he trotted up the pasture alongside the trailer calling goodbye to Lucas...I think he likes Lucas better than Allie!! 
I gave him some pasture time and then "de-pinked" him. I couldn't get a picture but when I was doing his forelock he leaned his head on my belly while I worked. It was the cutest thing! I think he actually enjoyed today. Every time I went back to his pasture he came running up nickering at me. I said "Wow, I'm glad you still like me after putting you through all of that!" 
I have the best horse ever!!
Bernie and I were talking and our next goal is a parade!!

Thanks for reading and sorry for the long post! Can't wait to see Cyndi's!!

Donna & Linus
Pink Ribbon Ride 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Trial Ride!

Bernie and I were able to meet up this afternoon for a trial ride to make sure our boys were going to get along and also to make sure Allie wasn't going to uncontrollably freak out being left behind! Dad kept her busy while we were out and it could not have gone better I think! Linus and Lucas got along really well. They both have very similar laid back personalities. Bernie was very impressed with how Linus handled everything for being a young guy and that he did it all without a bit too! Way to impress, Linus!

I rode Linus alone up the driveway and towards the end of the road. This picture was taken a short bit from the end of the driveway and we met up with Bernie and Lucas at the end of the road. Linus was calm and cool and did not give me a hard time at all! He is really impressing me with how well he is handling being out alone.

I was only able to get the one picture but the boys' got along like they were stable mates! I was so happy about this! Lucas is a bigger horse than Linus but not as tall as I remembered! More actually that Linus is taller than the last time they met 2 years ago - I wonder if they remember? Lucas has Friesian, Percheron and Arab (which only shows in those big ears!). He shows a lot of the Friesian traits. 
We tried a couple of local trails but they were too wet. Very boggy! So, we did the trail that borders our farm and goes back to two hayfields. Lucas looked at our calves for quite some time (his cows at home are white!) and we scared up some turkeys but it was a very calm and smooth ride. Linus forgot all about Allie until she called for him. He answered back a few times and got a bit antsy but once he was reminded that I wasn't giving in, he settled and we went back to a loose rein. Bernie was laughing at how pokey he can be on the road but how zippy his walk gets on the trail! Tomorrow should go great for Linus because he loves trail so much!
So, it looks like this is really and truly happening!!! Cannot wait to post pics and tell you all about it!!
Donna & Linus
Lunenburg, ON


This summer I failed. I'm not whining about it, but rather trying to face it and accept it.

We've had a tough summer. Many positive things happened, like catching up with old riding friends, and getting on the trail, getting Clooney back from the trainers and getting the hay in, getting Soyala trained and sold to a great home where she is already starting under saddle with a professional trainer, and getting Diamond Rain (through the help of riding friends and leasing riders) to be a bombproof horse. But, many sad things happened too.

One of the sad things is we lost our beloved Quigley to colic at the age of five. It has been for me devastating. It will take a long time for me to get over it, as he was my birthday gift from our mare, Jo Jo. We had sold him to someone we knew and he was boarded here, but the situation was not working out, which compounded the feelings about his death. It happens, and one has to accept it, but it is painful.

I have also failed to ride as much as I wanted to. Many excuses, like rain or being busy, sadness, getting old, having had too many accidents over the years, has made it a tough year for me, although I still do ride a lot, and positively went to several nice clinics this year which were amazing, I'm not getting myself to implement what I've been learning.

For some reason, I've got a cloud over my head I'm trying to wish away, so that I can get going. I have many plans this month, there's a stallion riding inspection this month. I want to bring Clooney there so he can get his riding inspection done (he already is an inspected breeding stallion). Then, there's the Cowboy Dressage Clinic I'm desperately trying to organize, it has been hard to get people here interested in it, as they do not understand it. Some friends do, but it has been hard to get everyone organized, nailed down and together to get it done. And, finally, getting my own riding better and better, it's been not as progressive as I'd hoped, and I am the only one to blame (O.K. I have a lot of farm work to do all the time, so getting the energy to ride is often difficult).

I guess today, I wanted to confess my failures. Hopefully, by doing so, I can let go of them and move on. Or am I just feeling sorry for myself?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall colors, attacking ferns and cows!

 I got a quick ride in tonight after work.  The weather has been absolutely beautiful!  I wish it was this way all year round!  Seriously!

I decided to use my trails out back.  I haven't been on them since winter when the bugs and mud set in.  We've had lots of rain, so I expected a ton of water, but I was pleasantly surprised that most of it was dry!  Yay!  Corky was alert and I could tell was glad to be in his old stopping ground.  As we came to the clearing the sun was hitting just right and it was beautiful.

There is so much color everywhere!

After I took these pictures we continued toward the back of the property.  I was remembering all my winter rides and was actually looking forward to all the riding coming up!  We went past the metal deer blind and then Corky started sidestepping looking to the left like something was going to bite him!  What is wrong?  REALLY?

This LARGE fern just got him!  I have to admit it wasn't ordinary size at all.  Each frond must have been 4 feet long and it was waving in the wind, so I guess I could understand it, but with all the foliage in the woods that he goes by, who would have guessed!  I had to laugh at him!  We continued through the trails and even made some of our own!  Boy, was I having fun.

When we got back to the house I decided to go across the road to the neighbor's camp and see where their trail went to.  Before I did that though, I snapped this picture.  All week long I've been looking at the maple trees in their yard.  They've been this bright red and I know any day all the leaves are going to be gone.

I just realized our shadow was taken too!  After taking their trail and coming back out, we headed down the road.  Ahhh, been awhile since you've been out alone, hasn't it, Cork!  Yes, he was stopping and thinking he needed to turn around.  I finally convinced him that my way was best.  We turned left at the next crossroad and I noticed two stray calves munching on the tall grass outside of the fence.  This time of year our neighborhood gets used to watching for calves crossing, even more so than deer.  The guy doesn't live there and his fence isn't hot, so the calves like the greener grass on the other side of the fence!

Seeing Corky and I, they made a beeline for inside the fence and then just watched us.  Corky is probably the first horse they've seen and weren't quite sure what to think.  There was a cow over to the far left mooing at us, but Corky paid no attention.  But he was very intent on the calves.

He probably stood still staring at the calves and the calves at him for a good 3 minutes before my other 2 horses hollered in the distance and it broke his concentration.  During this time I remembered one reason his former owner was selling him was she wanted a cow horse and while Corky wasn't scared of the cows, she said he didn't have the desire to chase cows.  But tonight made me wonder that maybe it was just the wrong person on his back.  Hmmmmm......

After my horses called Cork and he answered them, I realized the sun was going down quick and it was getting chilly and it was time to head for home, but not before one last picture.

Happy weekend riding!  Janeen and Corky from the UP of Michigan

Dress Rehearsal!!

After speaking with my Dad and having his full support in this weekend's ride it was time to try a dress rehearsal!! I wanted to make sure my Dad was ok with it because it is his horse that is being left behind. But he has plans now for some one on one with her and thinks it will do her good!! YAY!!
I started with trimming his muzzle hairs and bridle path. Mostly just as a desensitizer than anything. I am not getting right into the trimming because I love his fetlocks and bushy tail!! I had to run home to meet Owen off the bus and then we set to our pinking!!

Linus stomped on my bag of pink things!! Not putting this on me!! 
Boy are you wrong about that Mister!!

pink lei, pink rein covers, pink saddle blanket and pink feather boa around the cantle of is saddle!! And Bernie also has pink polo wraps and pink glitter horse paint to put ribbons on their flanks!

Lookin' real masculine there Linus!

The manure spreader going by was a good "obstacle"

And the calves stood at the fence laughing at Linus and wondering what the heck I was doing to him!! Linus should get along well with Bernie's horse. He is also black. Linus looks at the multi-coloured cows up the road like they are from Mars!! In his world horses are red and cows are black! (even though his sire is tobiano!)

It is all coming together nicely! I had a good ride on Linus today and then a good ride (though not as smooth and comfy!) on Allie. Maybe next year she will be ready for Dad to join us on a big trail ride! It is so awesome that I will get to meet a fellow RAC'er and her Curly!! Really looking forward to it!! 
Donna & Linus
Excited like crazy in Lunenburg, On

Thursday, September 26, 2013

a buzzy week...

Now I have my pastern, i can train daly again with my lovely horses....
I will not bother you every day with pictures so i show you some different pictures about
last week....

we had a photoshoot, best pictures will follow later...

my youngest daughter ride a couple times a week with bucky but because he is so naughty I keep him on a rope (until i think she is experienced/good enough to keep him with her whene he want's run away or just do naughty again.

Now the pastern is still very heavy because he just laid out, I could just let her ride, without me holding the rope, Bucky can't go away because it is still too heavy for him, they both (Cinderella and bucky) can't run in the pastern, it is to heavy.. hahah thats a good workout!
maybe somebody can help me out with this problem??or do i just have to be patient??
Cinderella and i train also in the pastern but still can't do a lot so we have to go outside also...sometimes

Sometimes my pictures are small or big, i don't know why so sorry for that......
thanks for reading my story
greetings marjolein (the Netherlands)